An ‘unexpected’ and emotional home-town win, and a beagle that stops others’ first BIS dreams

By Ranny Green
Tia McLaughlin photo by Shibaguyz Photography
Best in show photos by Meg Callea

A stirring “unexpected” home-town win Sunday by a 2-year-old Lhasa Apso and its tearful breeder-owner-handler contrasted sharply by a Saturday triumph of a 15-inch beagle over a final of six others seeking their first best-in-show ribbon

Handler Mike Kurtzner, of Sacramento, Calif., and JJ, a 15-inch beagle named after NASCAR racer Jimmy Johnson, took best-in-show honors Saturday at the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show. They are flanked by judge Dr. Karen Ericson, of Carnation, left, and Julie Hamasaki, of the Seattle Kennel Club.

Handler Mike Kurtzner, of Sacramento, Calif., and JJ, a 15-inch beagle named after NASCAR racer Jimmy Johnson, took best-in-show honors Saturday at the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show. They are flanked by judge Dr. Karen Ericson, of Carnation, left, and Julie Hamasaki, of the Seattle Kennel Club.

highlighted the Seattle Kennel Club’s 136th and 137th all-breed shows last weekend at CenturyLink Field Event Center.

“Madonna (Lhasa Apso) is our back-shelf dog,” says Ann Lanterman, of Redmond, the co-breeder. “Is there anything sweeter than winning on your home turf? I don’t think so? For Lanterman, who has been involved with the breed for 45 years, this was only her second best-in-show win.

Breeder-owner-handler Tia McLaughlin, of Puyallup, was overcome after judge Vincent Gross, of Banning, Calif., walked past the entire Select Seven field and pointed to her and Madonna, signaling his choice.

“I couldn’t believe it at first,” she gushed. “It was totally unexpected, since Madonna is not a dog I have campaigned a lot. But she showed beautifully today and was right on top of her game. I couldn’t have asked for more. “

For Team Madonna (McLaughlin/Lanterman) it was the perfect weekend. The dog gained a Non-Sporting Group 3 placement Saturday to go with its group and best-in-show triumphs Sunday.

Tia McLaughlin, of Puyallup, and Madonna, a Lhasa Apso, took top honors at Sunday’s all-breed show. Judge Vincent Grosso, of Banning Calif., and Seattle Kennel Club member Leslie Engen are beside the winner.

Tia McLaughlin, of Puyallup, and Madonna, a Lhasa Apso, took top honors at Sunday’s all-breed show. Judge Vincent Grosso, of Banning Calif., and Seattle Kennel Club member Leslie Engen are beside the winner.

“Madonna kinda fancies herself on being a diva,” adds McLaughlin. “Her strong suits are breed type and movement.” The Sunday group win was her fourth.

For more than three hours Saturday it appeared a special story was unfolding, for none of the first six group winners had best-in-show credit in its resume. That came to a halt in the final group – hound – which was won by JJ, an 18-months-old, 15-inch beagle handled by Mike Kurtzner, of Sacramento, Calif., and owned by Sheri and Darrell Smith, of Snohomish.

JJ had one best-in-show and six group wins beforehand. When asked about JJ’s strong suits, a beaming Sheri Smith said, “His temperament and movement. He’s a happy go-lucky dog who just loves to show as you could see today. And Mike knows how to coax the best out of him each time out.”

JJ was one of four entries to reach the best-in-show ring both days before a weekend paid attendance of 6,500.

The other three double group winners were:

Terrier Group – Cruise, a 4-year-old Bedlington terrier, handled by Kevin Chestnut, of Moses Lake, and owned by Sharon Holden and Joyce Berk, of Spokane.

Sporting Group – Piper, a 6-year-old Spinoni Italiani, handled by Carmen Ruby McCowen, of Gig Harbor, and owned by Jamie Austad and Kim Norton, of Mountlake Terrace. Piper was a group winner here last year, meaning three of the dog’s five group wins have come at the Seattle shows, and took reserve best in show Saturday.

McLaughlin is all smiles after her big win with Madonna. This was the 2-year-old dog’s first best-in-show triumph to go along with four Non-Sporting group top placements.

McLaughlin is all smiles after her big win with Madonna. This was the 2-year-old dog’s first best-in-show triumph to go along with four Non-Sporting group top placements.

Toy Group – Slugger, a 3-year-old pug, handled by Susie Olivera, of Gilbert, Ariz., and owned by Elois Veltman, Virginia Flatley and Blanche Roberts, of Fallbrook, Calif.
Saturday winners

Best in show: GCH Foxtail’s Race For The Chase (JJ), 15-inch beagle, handler Mike Kurtzner, Sacramento, Calif., owners Sheri and Darrell Smith, Snohomish.

Reserve best in show: GCH Javal Tangerine Man (Piper), handler Carmen Ruby McCowen, Gig Harbor, owners Jamie Austad and Kim Norton, Mountlake Terrace.

Sporting Group: GCH Javal Tangerine Man (Piper), handler Carmen Ruby McCowen, Gig Harbor, owners Jamie Austad and Kim Norton, Mountlake Terrace.

Hound Group: GCH Foxtail’s Race For The Chase (JJ), 15-inch beagle, handler Mike Kurtzner, Sacramento, Calif., owners Sheri and Darrell Smith, Snohomish.

Working Group: GCH Midnight Lady’s I’m a Good Girl, Yes I Am (Eliza), Newfoundland, handler John Dewing, Port Orchard, owners Lee and Rick Cole, Ellensburg.

Terrier Group: GCH Pineriver’s Show Me The Money (Cruise), Bedlington terrier, handler Kevin Chestnut, Moses Lake, owners Sharon Holden and Joyce Berk, Spokane.

Toy Group: GCH Winsome-Nirvana-Blaque Triple Play (Slugger), pug, handler Susie Olivera, Gilbert, Ariz., owners Elois Veltman, Virginia Flatley, Blanche Roberts, Fallbrook, Calif.

Non-Sporting Group: GCH Absolute Affinity Agape Bullet Proof (Simon), Bichon Frise, handler Sheri Kennedy, Snohomish, owners Karen Paulson, Bellingham, and Bob and Sue Swindle, Bellingham.

Herding Group: GCH Sky Acres Maximum Altitude (Tripp), Belgian Tervuren, owner-handler Michelle Edling, The Dalles, Ore.

Miscellaneous Class: Abiqua Gizella, Pumi, owner-handler Tom Levy, Salem, Ore., additional owners Chris Levy, Nora Kirschner and Tom Botkin, Salem, Ore.

Junior handler: Annie Mutschler, Langley, Australian shepherd, novice senior class.

High in trial: Sharon Colvin, Snohomish, golden retriever, Open B, 198.5.

High combined score: Sharon Colvin, Snohomish, golden retriever, Open B 198.5, Utility B 194. Total: 392.5.

Sunday winners

Best in show: GCH Kumi Kian Strike A Pose (Madonna), Lhasa Apso, breeder-owner-handler Tia McLaughlin, Puyallup, co-breeder-owner Ann Lanterman, Redmond.

Reserve best in show: GCH Winsome-Nirvana-Blaque Triple Play (Slugger), pug, handler Susie Olivera, Gilbert, Ariz., owners Elois Veltman, Virginia Flatley, Blanche Roberts, Fallbrook, Calif.

Sporting Group: GCH Javal Tangerine Man (Piper), handler Carmen Ruby McCowen, Gig Harbor, owners Jamie Austad and Kim Norton, Mountlake Terrace.

Hound Group: GCH Foxtail’s Race For The Chase (JJ), 15-inch beagle, handler Mike Kurtzner, Sacramento, Calif., owners Sheri and Darrell Smith, Snohomish.

Working Group: GCH Peace River’s Gathers No Moss At Sunstra (Mick), Alaskan Malamute, handler Martin Glover, Eugene, Ore., owners Thea and Kyle Robinson, Scappoose, Ore.; Michele Coburn, Dallas, Ore.; Alisa Syar, Granite Bay, Calif.

Terrier Group: GCH Pineriver’s Show Me The Money (Cruise), Bedlington terrier, handler Kevin Chestnut, Moses Lake, owners Sharon Holden and Joyce Berk, Spokane.

Toy Group: GCH Winsome-Nirvana-Blaque Triple Play (Slugger), pug, handler Susie Olivera, Gilbert, Ariz., owners Elois Veltman, Virginia Flatley, Blanche Roberts, Fallbrook, Calif.

Non-Sporting Group: GCH Kumi Kian Strike A Pose (Madonna), Lhasa Apso, breeder-owner-handler Tia McLaughlin, Puyallup, co-breeder-owner Ann Lanterman, Redmond.

Herding Group: GCH Snowdowne My Favorite Color Is Purple (Violet), Old English sheepdog, handler Cindy Gorath, Lakewood, owners Dea Freiheit, Coulee City, and Colleen Allen-Grady, Graham.

Miscellaneous Class: Eclipses Long Journey Home, Berger Picard, owners Victoria and David Levinson, Snohomish.

Junior handler: Lindsay Gorder, Renton, standard poodle, open junior class.

High in trial: Sharon Colvin, Snohomish, golden retriever, Novice B, 197.

High combined score: Sharon Colvin, Snohomish, golden retriever, Open B 196.5, Utility B 193. Total: 389.5.